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Member Spotlight

Changing Times, Changing Lives

Jun 04, 2018


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The YWCA Greater Cincinnati celebrates its 150th anniversary serving the Greater Cincinnati community on June 6. The agency’s mission of “eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all” continues to be as relevant as ever.

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Join the Celebration!


The YWCA invites the community to join them on Fountain Square on Friday, June 8, from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. to celebrate this monumental milestone and learn more about their work.   

The first YWCA was located on Longworth Street and the cost to stay there was $3.50 per week. After several moves necessitated by expansion, the YWCA settled into its current location at 898 Walnut Street in a 13 story building, built for the agency in just one year, that opened in 1929. In the early ‘70’s they stopped offering housing to women due to lack of need.

Each year they serve more than 34,000 women, men and their families, through programs and services focused in three key areas:

  • Empowerment & Economic Advancement
  • Health & Safety
  • Racial Justice & Inclusion

Often these clients are the most vulnerable in our community. During these 150 years the YWCA Greater Cincinnati has been instrumental in leading the way for systemic positive change in our community. Just some of the “firsts” that came from our own YWCA:

  • 1876 1st Employment Bureau exclusively for women
  • 1900 1st Typing Classes for women
  • 1915 1st Women’s Basketball Team
  • 1917 1st Automobile Mechanics Class for Women
  • 1920 Adopted national platform on wages and work week
  • 1930 YWCA women supported anti-lynching legislation
  • 1946 1st Interracial Charter
  • 1950 1st Integrated Cafeteria in the city
  • 1975 Led the way in establishing MLK birthday as a state holiday
  • 1976 Raised the issue of Domestic Violence
  • 1978 1st Domestic Violence Shelter
  • 2001 Sponsored the Three Minutes of Silence following the city’s unrest

Protecting women and children, fighting against gender and racial injustice, standing against hateful acts are just a few of the ways the YWCA makes a difference. Since its founding in 1868, the YWCA has been a keystone for positive change in the lives of hundreds of thousands of women, men and their families. Consistently identifying the needs of women, the YWCA then meets them head on. YWCA programs and services empower individuals to enhance their lives-whether it is escaping from abuse, learning to read or training for a job.  

Learn more about the YWCA at www.ywcacincinnati.org.

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